It’s March, and it is about this time of year where the longing for warm weather and tropical drinks sets in. Anyone else longing to sip some fruity rum cocktail out of a coconut while an ocean breeze blows through your hair? A longing for summer some might say… but what if you could escape to a warmer climate before the snow clears? Better yet, what if your wedding day could be that same escape for you and your guests?
Enter the El Dorado Spa Resorts, by Karisma in Riviera Maya, just outside of Mexico’s Cancun. These resorts will turn all of your wedding "what if’s" into unparalleled reality. Jake and I had the absolute jaw-dropping pleasure of visiting the El Dorado Royale, El Dorado Casitas Royale, El Dorado Seaside Suites, as well as the El Dorado Maroma and the Palafitos Over the Water Bungalows this last January. And guuuurl did they ever deliver! Not only did our picturesque photos succeed at making all of our IG followers insanely jealous back home, but our accommodations, the friendly staff, and the sheer amount of Gourmet Inclusive amenities had us turning to one another to confirm that this was indeed real life. Oh, and did I mention the food?! Well, I’m about to, but first, let's get back to what this lovely location means for your destination wedding dreams…
El Dorado Casitas Royale
As I mentioned before, Jake and I had the pleasure of visiting four (or technically five) of the El Dorado Hotels and Resorts over a long weekend, doing so at somewhat of a sprint as there is just so much to be seen and be impressed by. Adjoining resorts, El Dorado Royale and El Dorado Casitas Royale boasts 12 stunning locations for you to exchange your vows all varying from outdoor to indoor, traditional chapels to unique seaside piers and of course sand beaches.
One of the best features of the El Dorado Casitas Royale is that you feel cozy and tranquil within the resort as a whole. Each grouping of Casitas has its own swimming pool with swim-up bar – some groupings even have a pool at the back of the Casita that connects to the larger pool, so no walking required to grab a quick drink. It felt like a high-end luxury community, not a busy, crowded resort.
Newlyweds would definitely enjoy dipping in any one of the many pools, dining on the sand, checking out the evening entertainment, and then being able to retreat to the privacy of their Casita!
See more of the El Dorado Royale & Casitas here
El Dorado Seaside Suites
But these resorts go far beyond just a great space to say “I do”. All of the El Dorado resorts by Karisma have some swoon-worthy spas and bridal suites known as the Naay Spa, our favorite being at the El Dorado Seaside Suites. Not only because it is the largest spa in Riviera Maya, but It’s calming zen atmosphere washes over you when you first walk through the door. Relaxation sinks in as you pass through quiet rock gardens filled with the sounds of bubbling water, sand gardens raked into satisfying swirls and into your own personal bridal suite and salon. That’s right, you and your bridal party can spend the morning of your wedding treating yourselves to any number of massages, body wraps or facials before getting ready in the privacy of your own suite right there at the Naay Spa!
See more of the El Dorado Seaside Suites here
El Dorado Maroma and Palafitos
Our truest, “pinch me” moment happened when we first arrived at El Dorado Maroma, or more specifically the Palafitos at El Dorado Maroma. Jake and I could not believe that this tropical paradise was so close to home. With a flight that took the same time to fly from LA to New York, this slice of heaven was practically in our backyard. And heaven it truly was, the Palafitos are 30 overwater bungalows with glass floors that allow you to watch the ocean waves flow under your new home away from home. Plus, the gourmet restaurant is included and literally steps away from your front door and a day and evening butler on call the Palafitos left you wanting for nothing.
In fact, sometimes they even predicted your needs before you voiced or thought of them yourself. The perfect example would be when Jake and I found ourselves staring out at the torrential rain as we finished our lunch at the Overwater Grill. Umbrella-less, we asked our waiter if they might have one handy. He didn’t think so, but would go and check for us. Upon exiting the restaurant we were greeted by the smiling face of our butler, Allan, dressed in a bright yellow rain jacket standing next to a plastic encased golf cart. The lovely staff had taken it upon themselves to call us a car to save us from walking in the rain. it was amazing; just imagine this kind of service on your honeymoon!
Let's Stay Here Forever!
Speaking of honeymoons and tropical travel, El Dorado Maroma truly captured and kept our hearts. With stunning views of the ocean, a white sandy beach so soft you’d swear they’d upholstered it in velvet, and a sandbar island complete with swaying hammocks under palm trees, this is exactly where you and your new hubby/wifey will want to spend a few days of newlywed bliss. Have tropical drinks delivered as you lounge on beach beds. Catch some rays either by the pool in the El Dorado Maroma Resort or on your own private pier off the back of your bungalow in the Palafitos. And then, dress up for some five-star dining followed by drinks and maybe a little dancing.
If you are a beach snob, the El Dorado Maroma will not disappoint you. The sand is baby powder consistency, and the water has a clarity that is comparable to almost any Caribbean island. There is a special, private beach for guests of the Palafitos where we lounged and enjoyed bar service and exclusive cabanas. If this wasn’t enough, you’ll find the beaches hand-groomed each morning to remove any seaweed on the sand that might taint your bougie experience!
I promised I would talk about the food and now here we are. OMG you guys, this might be the best I have ever eaten on one trip. Jake will back me up when I say, if you happen to be staying at an all-inclusive resort, DO NOT SKIP A MEAL!!! Oh and be sure to ask the staff for their recommendations. This is the only reason we found out about the homemade coconut ice-cream (not on the menu) which we proceeded to order after each and every meal. Seriously, we would have ordered it for breakfast had we thought of it and packed it home in our suitcases if we had any spare room.
Beyond taste sensations, each meal was beautifully plated. I’m not a foodie nor a food critic but holy moly I couldn’t stop myself from taking self-indulgent photos of our food. The menu had excellent and diverse selections, so we challenged ourselves to try something new each time we sat down. We were never disappointed. Plus, with ten separate restaurants and five bars to choose from on the El Dorado Maroma Resort alone, we weren’t going to run out of interesting options any time soon.
Plush Comfort Over The Water
After a long day of relaxing and eating, Jake and I fell into the comfort of our king-sized beds, lulled to sleep by the quiet lapping of the waves beneath our bungalows. Bungalow makes the Palafitos sound quaint, which they are, but they also pack a beautifully designed luxury suite into a cute package. Each bungalow comes with its own fully stocked coffee and mini bar (included), a cabinet that contains snorkeling gear, a king sized bed that looks out on the ocean, both an indoor AND an outdoor shower, a soaker tub big enough to be a small hot tub and a double vanity. The porch also includes your own private infinity pool, a lounge, a table perfect for room service breakfast and last but not least your own private mini pier to lounge on or jump straight into the ocean from.
Safe to say, saying goodbye to the Palafitos at El Dorado Maroma was a difficult task. Although, as I said before, with all of the El Dorado Resorts by Karisma so near to home there’s no reason not to schedule a return visit. Until then, I will just have to keep staring at all these photos.